No pain, no gain? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveyed more than 4,000 fitness professionals, and the results are in: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is forecast as next year’s most popular trend in fitness. HIIT training is made up of bursts of all-out exercise followed by short periods of rest for recovery. The fitness trends forecast was released today in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018: The CREP Edition” published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®.

“High intensity interval training has been a consistently high-ranking trend on the forecast in recent years, appearing in the top three since 2014,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, president of ACSM and the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “Even though survey respondents warned of a relatively higher risk of injury associated with HIIT, it continues to be very popular in gyms across the world.”

Survey respondents shared that some clients are reluctant to participate in HIIT due to perceived risks, and the fitness pros often shared those concerns. So, is HIIT dangerous?

“HIIT offers participants a good workout that can be done without a lot of time or equipment,” continued Thompson. “Research shows that with proper precautions, like working with a certified personal trainer, HIIT can be a safe, effective and fun way to exercise.”

Now in its twelfth year, the survey helps the health and fitness industry make critical programming and business decisions. ACSM expanded this year’s survey to include partner organizations in the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals® (CREP), and the 4,000 respondents set a record that more than doubled that of previous years. The survey provides 40 potential trends to choose from, and the top 20 were ranked and published by ACSM. Group training jumped up four spots to the second spot. Last year’s number one, wearable technology, remained high on the list as the third most popular trend.

THE TOP 10 FITNESS TRENDS FOR 2018 ARE:

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, these exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

Group Training: Group exercise instructors teach, lead and motivate individuals though intentionally designed group exercise classes. Group programs are designed to be motivational and effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals.

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